North Carolina (12-3, 1-1) at Virginia (13-1, 2-0)
When: Saturday, January 6th 2018
Where: John Paul Jones Arena, Charlottesville, VA
Time: 1:00 ET | TV: ESPN
Opening Odds: Virginia -3.5/137.5
The North Carolina Tar Heels will try and avoid dropping below .500 in conference play when they visit the defensive-minded Virginia Cavaliers on Saturday afternoon. Eighth-ranked Virginia is coming off another terrific performance and is a perfect 2-0 in ACC play and 9-0 at home. The Cavaliers, who lead the nation in scoring defense (52.7 per game), held host Virginia Tech to just 36.2% shooting from the field and forced 16 turnovers in a 78-52 rout Wednesday night. The Cavaliers will face a Tar Heels squad that has dropped two of its last four games after an 81-80 loss at Florida State on Wednesday as Joel Berry II missed a shot in the lane for the win in the final seconds, but still managed a team-high 28 points. North Carolina has not lost back-to-back games since February of 2016, but were held to their lowest scoring output last season when they visited Charlottesville (53-43).
Berry is averaging 21.4 points over the last five games to raise his season mark to 17.9, but is still shooting just 39.1% from the field overall. Berry has 209 career 3-pointers and needs three to pass Jeff Lebo for sixth on the program’s all-time list. Junior forward Luke Maye leads the team in scoring at 18.1 and rebounds (10.5) while hitting 51% from the floor with eight double-doubles – two in the last five games. Senior guard Cameron Johnson, a transfer from Pittsburgh, had a season-low seven points but recorded eight rebounds and six assists Wednesday in his fourth game since returning from a knee injury.
Freshman guard De’Andre Hunter has recorded two of his four double-figure scoring performances in the last three games after scoring 14 points on 5-of-8 shooting against Virginia Tech. Hunter was held scoreless in the ACC opener against Boston College. Sophomore guard Kyle Guy leads the team in scoring (15.5), and is 9-for-18 from long range over his last three games. Guard Ty Jerome is averaging 17.8 points over the last four games to push his season mark to 9.9 and went off for 31 against Boston College. Virginia is shooting 40.0% from 3-point land – 31st in the country.
North Carolina is struggling a bit and going up against a defense like Virginia won’t help. The Cavaliers don’t score much, but they don’t need to. Their shooting percentages are better than last year. Virginia beat a better Tar Heels team last season by 10 at home. I can see the same type of game on Saturday.
Pick: Virginia -5
- Tar Heels are 4-1-1 ATS in their last 6 games vs. a team with a winning % above .600.
- Tar Heels are 35-17-2 ATS in their last 54 games following a straight up loss.
- Tar Heels are 1-3-2 ATS in their last 6 vs. Atlantic Coast.
- Cavaliers are 5-0 ATS in their last 5 games following a ATS win.
- Cavaliers are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 home games.
- Cavaliers are 8-2 ATS in their last 10 games overall.
- Cavaliers are 7-2 ATS in their last 9 games following a straight up win.
- Cavaliers are 9-3 ATS in their last 12 home games vs. a team with a road winning % of greater than .600.
- Cavaliers are 11-4-1 ATS in their last 16 home games vs. a team with a winning road record.
- Cavaliers are 5-2 ATS in their last 7 games vs. a team with a winning straight up record.
- Cavaliers are 5-2 ATS in their last 7 vs. Atlantic Coast.
- Under is 5-0 in Tar Heels last 5 road games.
- Under is 5-0 in Tar Heels last 5 road games vs. a team with a winning home record.
- Over is 5-0 in Tar Heels last 5 games following a straight up loss.
- Under is 5-0 in Tar Heels last 5 road games vs. a team with a home winning % of greater than .600.
- Under is 11-3-1 in Tar Heels last 15 vs. Atlantic Coast.
- Under is 5-0 in Cavaliers last 5 games vs. a team with a winning % above .600.
- Under is 15-5-1 in Cavaliers last 21 Saturday games.
- Under is 24-9-1 in Cavaliers last 34 games following a ATS win.
- Under is 25-10-1 in Cavaliers last 36 vs. Atlantic Coast.
- Under is 12-5 in Cavaliers last 17 vs. a team with a winning straight up record.
- Under is 7-3-1 in Cavaliers last 11 games following a straight up win of more than 20 points.
- Under is 37-17-1 in Cavaliers last 55 games following a straight up win.
- Under is 40-19-1 in Cavaliers last 60 overall.
- Favorite is 7-2 ATS in the last 9 meetings.
- Home team is 18-7-1 ATS in the last 26 meetings.
- Under is 12-5 in the last 17 meetings.
- Under is 7-3 in the last 10 meetings in Virginia.
- Tar Heels are 1-6 ATS in the last 7 meetings in Virginia.